Monday, December 05, 2011

Headboard Adventures

I made a headboard last week.

We've been sleeping on the floor for 3 years. Okay, not ON the floor, but the box springs are on the floor. When we moved from Key West, the bed was on it's last legs and we elected not to drag it with us and have it likely deteriorate further.

The aging dog really enjoyed being able to get on the bed easier (he has since passed away - in the beginning of September) and the cats and skunk appreciate the accessibility as well.

I am fine with the bed being low to the ground, that doesn't bother me. Having no space UNDER the bed is ok, too, as there is then nowhere for things to get lost or small animals to hide.

It has always seemed to me that a headboard makes a bed look "real".  When we dumped the old bed, we agreed that we would not purchase any bedroom furniture unless it was what we really loved, and we would save up for it. 

Working at P1 gave me the opportunity to pick up some very nice coordinating pieces for pretty affordable prices, but they never had a headboard and/or bed that was quite right.

I decided a few months ago that I would just MAKE a headboard. I've seen DIY stuff on HGTV showing the many different ways of creating the beast, so I decided to do the cheapest/lightest/nicest looking thing and this is the result.

I purchased four pieces of foam-board that are 1/2" thick and laid them next to each other, placing five 1" dowels (are they still dowels if they are square?) on the ends and on the seams, adding 1/2" dowels across the tops for reinforcement and two more 1/2" in strategic (and clearly scientific) positions, hot gluing them all into position.

It was originally my intention to nail the wood pieces together, but the nails I had were too thick and started to split the wood, so I decided a hot-glue-and-staple-gun route was better.

I also stapled the seams between the foam pieces on the front side to help keep them together.

Time for batting and fabric! I bought one bag of quilt batting in a Twin bed size, which turned out to be perfect when folded in half long-wise.

Used the staple gun to attach the batting to the form, down the center and all around the edges.

I laid out my fabric and discovered that when I had calculated how much I would need, I had been intending to use the foam boards the other direction, which was shorter. Oops.

I went ahead and fastened it (staple-gun of course) in a centered position, leaving equal sized blanks strips on the ends.

Fortunately I have some lovely fabric from my still-planned third incarnation of the big ottoman. The craft store always has it in stock, so I can pick up more if I need to. 

I cut two strips off an end, folded and hot-glued the edge, then hot-glued AND stapled the strips on the ends of the headboard.

I have to say, it kinda looks like I meant to do that, and I think I like the look of it better than if the light-colored fabric had reached all the way to the end.

Right now, the headboard is just on the floor (the 1" dowels make great feet to hold the thing up at the perfect height) between the bed and the wall, but it's lightweight enough that I can hang it on the wall if we ever raise the bed and build/buy a bed frame.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Life Keeps Truckin'

My one devoted fan (Hi Lou!!) reminds me that this venue has been neglected of late.

This year has been a hectic one at our house...

In January I was diagnosed with a grapefruit-sized uterine fibroid (rather uncomfortable to house, if you were wondering).

In February I decided to quit my job at Pier 1 due to my physical limitations (thanks, Grapefruit) and the increasing drama caused by employees that wanted nothing more than to make my job difficult (and thought that would make theirs easier). Also in February The Chou was poisoned somehow (we don't know how) and went into major kidney failure. We thought his time was up and were emotionally wrecked for a couple of weeks, but after 24 hours of fluids at the vet and another week and a half of fluids given at home, he recovered almost fully! He's on a special diet now and has lost about 3lbs since then.

My last day of work was mid-March, and I was originally scheduled for surgery to remove the fibroid on March 29th. On March 16th, my HusBean's contract at work changed, which meant our health insurance changed... which meant no insurance until April 1st. The surgery had to be rescheduled and they wouldn't even look at a calendar until I provided proof of new insurance so they could send it through pre-approval all over again. Also in March my Mom decided she needed help with her last big project at work before retirement, so on a Sunday afternoon she asked me to fly out that Tuesday and help. We booked the ticket and I went to Portland for two weeks.

I got back from Portland on HusBean and I's third anniversary (April 12th) and I had a few weeks to try and get caught up at home, get the surgery re-scheduled, and pack before heading to NYC in mid-May for a week.

The night before my trip we had a visit from the Heartlife Homeschool Co-op while on their road-trip through The South. It was wonderful to have them here (all over the floor and in a tent in the back yard), spend some good time with Kevin and meet lots of new friends.

My week in NYC was amazing and it was wonderful to get to spend some sister-time with HusBean's sister Katie and our nephew Jackson. I don't think I've even finished blogging the trip! I honestly don't even remember everything that happened in the last part of May, other than again trying to get caught up at home (laundry, Hot Sauce sales, etc.). (Also during my trip HusBean told me that our siamese - Maui - had escaped when the kids were leaving on Friday... the silly cat hid out in the bushes and around the neighbors houses for four days before finally allowing HusBean to catch him)

In June we had a lovely visit from Emily & Celeste while on their road-trip through The South. They only stayed a night, but we packed a lot into their time here! Scott made fresh pasta (with their help) and the next day I took the ladies downtown Augusta to see the James Brown statue, have lunch (AND DESSERT!)at Boll Weevil and tromp through a few antique shops before sending them on their way.

My surgery was on June 16th, and I spent two nights in the hospital, going home on Saturday morning. I spent the first week sleeping in the guest room, since the master bed is on the floor and thus much harder to get out of for someone with no abdominal muscles. After that first week I was able to both go off of the Percocet and move back into the master bedroom.

My Mom flew out on July 3rd to spend twelve days with us, she had just retired after 44 years (Wow!) and deserved a vacation. Unfortunately, she spent a lot of the time helping out around the house and a TON of time cooking, but we had a lot of fun planning healthy meals and just hanging out together. And shopping. We did some shopping. :)

While I was in the hospital, our Boxer - Buster - developed a UTI and Scott had to take him to the vet to get checked out and get antibiotics. Ever since then he's been going slowly downhill... He'll be 13 tomorrow (which is CRAZY old for a Boxer) and has arthritis in his back end. In the weeks following the UTI he didn't seem to be getting much better - was drinking GALLONS of water a day and peeing every hour - so we ended up taking him back in to get checked out. After some blood tests he has been diagnosed with Cushing's Disease.

Yesterday morning after he got off the bed, he was walking through the bedroom door and suddenly fell over. I jumped up and ran to him, expecting that he had just dropped dead. He was still breathing, but limp. I called HusBean to come home, we pulled the dog onto a blanket and carried him to the door to head to the vet. When we set him down to open the door he suddenly sat up, then stood up, and walked himself out the door to the car.

After some more tests the vet thinks that Buster's heart is dropping beats periodically and that he likely fainted. Since he is a VERY senior dog, we are not going to put him through xrays and additional medication, we just got a prescription for better pain meds - Arthritis specific - and he acts like he is feeling better.

Our friend Dean arrived from San Angelo, TX last night to spend a few days with us for HusBean's birthday (today!).

When would I have had time to write? It's all I can do to wash the laundry, much less get it folded and put away! I have managed to keep the kitchen clean and keep up with Hot Sauce orders...

Friday, July 01, 2011

Trends - OWLS!!

I had no idea that I was so in to home decor until I worked at Pier 1. My 2.5 years there made me realize what fun it is to make my home an expression of my taste and a fun creative outlet.

Of course, between the pay and how much I spent at the store (despite my discount), we are probably saving money since I quit my job, but I'm still a fan of decorating and also of P1.

My current obsession is with Owls. My boss at P1 got me into it because her mother had loved owls and therefore my boss' daughter loved them. This made me start noticing owls. Fortunately, owls are all the rage right now anyway and I didn't have to look far.

I believe that this was my first owl purchase - a cute necklace from Target that I picked up in Charleston while I was there for a P1 meeting.

After that we started getting owl merchandise at P1 and I picked up a doormat and some figurines...

I LOVE the doormat and will likely keep it out all year (although I may sub my cute bat at Halloween) but like to change up the other Front Door Area stuff. Right now I want to transition from my spring stuff to summer and am looking for cute inexpensive ways to do that.

I designed the "spring" wreath currently on the door and am thinking I want to make one for summer with owls in it - but still in bright summery colors. Something along these lines color-wise. These might work hooked into a grapevine wreath... they're a little more fall-colored though. Along that idea-line, these are brighter...

And of course, Etsy is a fabulous place to find all sorts of wonderful things.

Maybe I'll have to head to Hobby Lobby and just make some stuff myself. :) Maybe get some fabric and make little tiny stuffed owls to put on the wreath myself with some coordinating gerbera heads.

Hmm... I see some crafting in my future!


Target has some super cute bathroom accessories,

Also at P1:
Cute Owl Mug
Salt & Pepper shakers
LED Candle
Owl wall decor
Owl paintings - I like the blue-ish background one best
Cute greeting card with feathery accents
LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuffed owl toy (I bought the Zebra for my sister)

And a bunch more cute stuff coming in Fall... Gosh, you'd think I still work there.

Had some fun creating an Etsy treasury, too.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

When you get caught between the Moon...

I have to admit, Katie and I got a LOT accomplished that Tuesday morning while my nephew was in school.

After the donut shop we continued our journey to the Flat Iron district.

Conveniently located just across the street was something on Katie's NYC bucket list: Eataly. I had never heard of the place, but according to Katie it is somewhere Mario Batali and other Food Network folks like to shop, which is enough to interest me! (random vague side note: I saw a guy there that I KNOW is on tv, but I haven't figured out who he is yet...)

The whole place is one big store, make that HUGE store, but broken down into different areas and stalls and mini-shops and restaurants.

I got a big kick out of the boards next to the Vegetable Butcher:

But also really enjoyed all the different shapes and colors of foods and drinks. I was in foodie/photo heaven!

I think I could have stood at the pasta counter eternally...

...but we had to hop back on the subway and pick up the little man from pre-school and head home for a nap.

MORE Tuesday (to be continued...)

Monday, June 27, 2011

...Now I Need a Little Give And Take...

On Tuesdays and Thursdays my nephew attended pre-school.

Katie and I dropped him off just before 8a on Tuesday and made a quick stop at the Starbucks nearby before getting on the subway headed for Chelsea.

We got off the subway and walked down 21st Street (I think) to the Chelsea Market.

We walked through starting from the Food Network end where Masaharu Morimoto has his restaurant and bought freshly baked bread twists from a bakery before coming out onto 9th Avenue where we circled back around and took 21st to 10th Avneue and up the stairs to the High Line.

I won't go into a full description of the High Line (I'll let Wikipedia do that for me), but I will summarize by saying that it is a former raised railroad track converted into a park.

At one point it runs beneath the Standard Hotel.

The landscape design was very nicely done and I could have spent all day up there.

We walked to the end of the High Line and then headed toward the Flat Iron district. On the way we came across a fancy donut shop.

We were much more impressed with the decor in the shop than the donuts, the prices, OR the customer service...

but how often do you get to disco while peeing?

(Tuesday's escapades to be continued...)


I know, I know, I'm all over the place.

Travel blog, home decorating, cooking, animals... what's next? Should I focus?


I'm feeling very style-maven-ish today, particularly excited because I'm expecting the arrival of a pair of FREE shoes from Shoedazzle. I've been a member for about a year and a half and love it so far. As long as I remember to "skip the month" by the 5th, I don't get charged unless I am buying a pair of shoes, and hot stylin' shoes for $40 plus shipping? Awesome. I earned myself enough points to get a free pair and they are on track to arrive on my doorstep this afternoon.

Cute, No?

I'm thinking of pairing them with something along these lines:

(Jeans from Saks, top from HSN, necklace from etsy, bag from ebay)

If you are remotely interested in the shoedazzle thing, let me send you an invite and I'll get more points (MORE FREE SHOES, HOORAY!).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

There's Nothing You Can't Do...

When we last left our heroine (that'd be me), I had spent the Saturday of my trip to New York City walking and walking and walking, eating, karaoke-ing, walking some more, and finally sleeping.

Sunday morning my nephew Jackson had a birthday party to attend, so I was able to sleep in a little while until he and Katie returned. Most of the day was spent entertaining Jackson and trying to keep him out of the way so Katie could pack for their move to Virginia.

We decided to get pizza for dinner, so we walked a few blocks away to Famiglia Pizzeria. We had them make us a large - half "Veggie" and half "Fresca" (basically a margherita).

I had intended to try multiple kinds of pizza and cheesecake while in New York, only managed to have two different restaurant's offerings of pizza, and only ended up having cheesecake (although six different varieties) from the Whole Foods next door to where I was staying.

We went to bed at a reasonable hour Sunday night to prepare for our big morning out on Monday.

Katie had acquired tickets for the two of us to attend a taping of the Wendy Williams show. I will admit that I had never heard of Wendy Williams, but watched a clip or two of her on youtube before leaving on my trip, so I thought I had an idea of what I was in for.

I had no idea that I was going to be in for a crazy dance party and that Katie and I would have a ton of air-time. Wendy Williams herself is a riot, and the taping segments were fun, but the REAL entertainment is the audience-warmer, Kevin.

Kevin is a hoot. He gets everyone up and dancing and singing and laughing. He flirts with the entire audience and made us all feel welcome and like there was nowhere else in New York we would rather be RIGHT THEN.

If you are in the audience, you are instructed to dress "fashionably", so I decided this was probably my one chance to wear heels and get away with it. I chose a pair that are pretty awesome, but that I also have quite a bit of experience wearing, so that I wouldn't be uncomfortable walking a fair distance or standing in them for quite awhile. Unfortunately, we were running a little bit late, so we walked much faster than those shoes are intended for, and I ended up with blisters on my feet on only my third day in New York.

After getting back to the apartment we watched the playback of our appearance on the show, took naps (thank goodness for 2.5 year olds that take naps!) and I finished off the evening with a big salad and some middle eastern and Indian food from Whole Foods.

Fortunately, they healed quickly and I had several other pairs of shoes to wear throughout the week to avoid making the injuries any worse.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's Up To You...

A week ago at this time I was gallavanting through NYC.

My nephew Jackson is two-and-a-half, and wakes up every day around 6a or 6:30a. When you are all living in a tiny apartment, there is not much sleeping in. Kevin had come up from Richmond for the weekend, so the four of us went to Central Park together for a walk and a little bit of running-around time.

Kevin took Jackson back to the apartment and Katie and I hopped on the subway to 42nd/Times Square. We walked through Times Square (Lego store!) and over to Rockefeller center before getting back on the subway and heading to the Soho area.

We walked from there to Ground Zero (quite a walk!) by way of Bowery, through Little Italy and down Church Street and Broadway.

This is one of the buildings under construction (many things under construction there of course).

St. Paul's Chapel is a Trinity Church is across the street from Ground Zero and has survived many New York disasters. It was opened in 1776 and was one of the only buildings in the area left standing in the "Great Fire" of 1776. When the World Trade Center collapsed, it again was nearly untouched and became a haven for rescue workers.

Katie and I took the subway back uptown and I got to take a little nap while Jackson was still sleeping.

Saturday evening we went to dinner at Dhaba, a fabulous Indian restaurant. We then met friends for drinks at Me Bar, which is next to the Empire State Building (and located in the top of a LaQuinta, of all things).

After taking an obligatory picture of the landmark, we continued on to Boho (West) for some Karaoke. Katie had apparently been touting my abilities as a vocalist, so I was thrown into singing a couple of songs. I chose "Everything" by Michael Buble (which I have never sung publicly before, and had forgotten completely about the a Capella key change at the end... OOPS!) and Katie chose for me to sing "Stay" by Lisa Loeb. I was backed up significantly by the rest of the patrons.

There was a rather large group of people from New Jersey that inundated the bar shortly after we arrived. After they pretty much took over the place (and managed to gas us out more than once - thanks, dude) we decided to call it a night and parted ways with the girls that had come out with us.

Kevin, Katie and I took the subway back up to Times Square and then walked through so I could take some pics with all of the lights.

We then ducked in to the M&M's store about 10 minutes before closing since none of us had ever been to one. I picked up a postcard for my Dad, and Kevin picked up what turned out to be some VERY expensive M&M's.

We got back on the subway and headed uptown to the apartment, crashing into bed (the couch for me) soon after.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Traveling Hot Sauce Saleswoman

Boy have I been busy!

I had the greatest of intentions to blog daily (HA!) or at least weekly (hardly!) once I officially became a housewife.

The truth is that I traded one full-time job for another, maybe even two. While I am indeed now a housewife, I am also now the driving force behind the Homeward Bound Hot Sauce roller-coaster. (If you have been a faithful reader and not figured out what this hot sauce thing is all about, I'll be happy to talk your ear off about it!)

Between trying to get the house into a better general state and filling hot sauce orders, I haven't had much time to do all the project-y things I'd like to tackle now that I supposedly have some free time.

I HAVE been able to start to tackle a few things, like embroidering penguins onto a pair of Converse for my nephew, and sending out the stack of remaining Christmas presents that have spent the last five months next to our front door.

I traveled to Portland, OR for two weeks in March/April to help my Mom with her last big project at work before she retires this summer, to visit my best girlfriend and her newborn baby (and her other three children), and to visit my best guy-friend and clean out my Vancouver house. It was wonderful to spend so much time in what I consider to be my "Home Turf" and it really helped me get motivated to dive into our dream of making the hot sauce what ultimately takes us home to the Pacific Northwest.

After I returned home to Georgia I was able to reschedule my surgery for the middle of June. Once that was taken care of it enabled me to schedule the other pieces of my summer.

My sister and brother-in-law and our nephew have been living in New York City for the last year and are moving to Virginia. This was my last chance to visit them here (and maybe my last chance ever for free lodging), so I booked my tickets once our tax return came back and arrived at La Guardia airport on Friday evening around 6p.

I took a cab to Katie's building and we spent the evening catching up and making our initial plans for the week.

I have taken about 300 pics so far and uploaded over 200 to Facebook, I'm having an amazing time seeing the sites and appreciating all the artistry and nature in this huge city.

I still have a few things to see (and EAT) before I head home early this Friday morning.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Housewifery: Month 1 (& Trip Home Part 2)

Previously on Housewifery...

Flying cross-country with a large growth in your abdomen is not the most comfortable way to travel... I've had problems sitting for long periods of time for many years, mostly due to the fact that my legs are pretty long and most modes of transportation (other than First Class of course) are not set up for anyone taller than about 5'2".

When flying from Augusta (we have a small airport here) I either end up going by way of Augusta, GA to Charlotte, NC to Phoenix, AZ to Portland or Augusta, GA to Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX to Portland.

I actually prefer going through DFW for two reasons, one is that the longest leg of the trip ("long leg" ha ha ha) is only about 3.5 hours as opposed to 4.5, and DFW has a Red Mango. When I flew home in October 2010 I tasted Red Mango frozen yogurt and consequently had to have frozen yogurt a few times a week once I got back to GA. There's a few places here in town that are good - not quite Red Mango good, but good enough!

Anyway... In planning this very last-minute trip to Portland, I decided to keep it a secret from my best friend back home, Monica. She had just had a baby and we had talked a couple of days previously when I told her I wouldn't probably be able to visit for at least a month.

I attempted this deception with the help of a couple of friends and thought I was terribly clever. Of course, I have a terribly BIG MOUTH and couldn't just say nothing, so I said silly things on facebook that made everyone curious and posted silly pictures (friends suggested captions like "Where Bees Get Their Haircuts" and "'re in an elevator - mind the gap!") that would only make sense if you knew where I was.

Of course, Monica is no dummy and figured the whole thing out before I ever got on the plane in Augusta. I had arranged a dinner at the couple's house where I was supposed to surprise Monica. I could tell immediately when she saw me that she knew, because her "surprised" face was total crap.

She was still happy to see me, and it was awesome to get to hold Baby Kennedy.

Dinner was of Middle Eastern inspiration and we enjoyed freshly made falafel, tabbouleh, tzatziki, salad and some quite good store-purchased hummus, baba ganoush and pita. Several other friends joined the festivities and it was great to get caught up with them.

During this evening we remarked on Kennedy's hair (she was born with quite a bit) as it likes to stick straight up unless it's pretty heavily coated with something... giving rise to the nickname "Baby Hedgehog".

I worked with Mom on Wednesday and Thursday during most of the day, and Friday morning.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Housewifery: Month 1 (& Trip Home Part 1)

My first month as a housewife went like a tornado! Fast and furious and chaotic!

I had one week at home that went perfectly as planned: menu plan, house cleaning, etc. I spent some good time outside and enjoyed a book and coffee every morning, planted some flowers in the back yard, got the front door looking cute...

Then on Sunday of my second week it all went to heck!

My mom works for the Portland Public Schools District in their Nutrition Services department. Mom has always been a computer whiz, and her current role involves troubleshooting a software upgrade that the entire school district uses to order the food for the cafeterias.

This may sound like a simple thing, but it is a HUGE task with many parts and several things literally were lost in translation from the old system to the new system, causing her HOURS of tracking down problems and fixing them, in addition to notifying the software company of various bugs so they could be fixed on THEIR end.

I had called Mom on Sunday (3/27) to catch up, and after filling her in with my first week at home, she said she had planned to call me anyway. She was overwhelmed at work and desperately in need of help. Would I be willing to fly out and spend a few days helping her if she paid for my plane ticket? FREE TRIP HOME? Are you kidding? Of COURSE!

I asked when she was thinking and she said "Tuesday". I asked "THIS Tuesday? As in two days from now?" and she assured me it was that immediate. I conferred briefly with HusBean and then told her I'd see if I could find a ticket. As we were out and about headed to lunch I went online with my phone to Priceline and managed to find a round-trip ticket from Augusta to Portland for that Tuesday for about $600 with taxes and fees. That's a pretty good price for a 2-day lead time.

I decided that since I don't have a work schedule to be concerned about I would stay a bit longer and scheduled my return ticket for April 12th (our 3-year anniversary).

I immediately started notifying friends and family in the Portland area of my imminent arrival and asked if anyone needed sauce... Within 24 hours I had presold $200 worth of sauce and had to cut off the orders because I didn't have any more room in my TWO suitcases AND we were out of bottles!

I carefully distributed my clothes and sauce (88lbs worth) between the two suitcases and my two carryons, and boarded the small plane in Augusta on Tuesday afternoon. I flew first to Charlotte, NC and caught a connection to Phoenix, AZ. From Phoenix I flew directly to Portland, arriving about 20 minutes early at 10:40p.

Mom and Lou picked me up - this was fortunate because it was pretty tough moving ALL of my luggage by myself. I gave Mom the light stuff and I dragged the two (wheeled!) suitcases.

With me and all of my belongings safely crammed in the car, we headed home to Clackamas.